The WORD in other words (2023) by Fr Melencio Balay SVD – Cebu City
Wednesday 5th Week of Lent
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Next week is already Holy Week when we will meditate on the Passion of Jesus. In today’s Gospel, the hatred towards Jesus is becoming intense. The plot to kill him is developing. However, Jesus keeps speaking with authority, especially of ultimate freedom and slavery, about truth that liberates and sin that enslaves.
Drug abuse is a big problem that enslaves many in our country. To address this problem, the government implemented “tokhang.” Tokhang intends to curb and eliminate addiction in our country but it faced a lot of resistance from different groups.
The government believed that if they eliminated the user of illegal substance the problem of addiction will stop. But in reality, this caused the sprouting of many more issues in society. Tokhang did not address the core problem or the root cause. Christian teaching tells us to “hate the sin but not the sinner.” Like addiction, sin can enslave us too.
Any sin gives temporary satisfaction only. Unless one turns back to God, sin leaves a person in a desperate cyclic search of happiness.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is telling us that “everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.” Jesus’ mission is to liberate us from the slavery of sin, but many of us are like the Jews before who did not believe in him.
The Jews during the time of Jesus believed that being a descendant of Abraham is enough to be rightfully called children of God, and automatically guarantees salvation.
As Christians, we must nourish the filial love of God in our hearts by listening to his words and putting them into action. Do not be deceived by the enticements of this world; they will pass away, but his word will remain always.